Kyiv’s clubs and bars to stay open later as curfew relaxed to midnight

Ukraine’s capital trying to return to new normal after Russian invasion, with latest move hoped to boost business

Kyiv’s wartime curfew will be reduced by an hour to boost business, the administration of the Ukrainian capital announced on Friday.

Since Russia launched its invasion last February, the residents of Kyiv and all other cities across Ukraine have been subject to regionally imposed curfews for security reasons. Night revellers have to scarper home or face questioning, fines, and even conscription by the police and soldiers who patrol the streets at night.

The head of Kyiv city administration, Serhiy Popko, said that the new curfew period – starting at midnight instead of 11pm – would increase the time for public transport and that reducing its duration “should help reduce social tension, increase production, create new jobs”.

The restaurants, clubs and bars that reopened after the invasion were forced to bring forward their closing times to between 8pm and 9.30pm to allow employees to get home. Kyiv’s clubs started doing weekend day events, which start at 5pm on Fridays and 11am on Saturdays and Sundays – with large chunks of the profits donated to the army.

Last orders will soon be at about 10pm with closing time at 10.30-11pm, in another step towards the city returning to its new normal after being surrounded by Russian forces for five weeks last spring.

The general rule is that the nearer one is to the fighting, the earlier the curfew. In Donetsk region, the curfew starts at 9pm, while in Dnipro it has been midnight since May. In the early days of the war, Kyiv’s curfew began as early as 5pm and there were several nationwide lockdowns that lasted three days, which the authorities said they used to catch Russian infiltrators and special forces roaming the streets.

Since the 11pm curfew was introduced in May, a select number of hotels and a handful of secret bars in Kyiv have continued to operate well into the night, hosting foreign fighters, expats and a few Ukrainians, though mostly women. The Ukrainian men not yet fighting are often anxious about being handed a conscription notice and so are usually home before curfew and in bed.


Isobel Koshiw in Kyiv

The GuardianTramp

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